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Broken up because of distance, but I can't shake the feeling he's the one for me


Coping Learning to deal with one's emotions and loss.

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Old 26th February 2013, 3:49 AM   #1
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Broken up because of distance, but I can't shake the feeling he's the one for me

First post but I have been reading the Forum since December. This might be a bit of a long one, so I apologize in advance and thank you guys for taking the time to read and give me some input - God knows I need it

Me and this guy met through work in the second semester of 2011 (he was a casual at my company and only worked there every now and then). We flirted a few times but it was only in January last year that we kissed at our work function and started sort of seeing each other around February. Although no one from work knew, I had already bought flight tickets and was going to leave the country in August to go on a travelling adventure for a few months, then to live in Canada for a few months on a working visa (we both lived in Australia and I was going to be overseas for around a year altogether). I told him I was leaving in August, so I wasn't looking for a relationship. He only had one long term (7 years) relationship his whole life which ended nearly 8 years ago and he had never had a girlfriend ever since, only casual flings, and everytime the topic relationship was brought up, he sounded negative and very skeptical about it, like he just didnt believe you could actually be happy with someone long term. He often said he felt happy/comfortable "living in his cave". It was clear he had commitment issues but i didn't care, since I was leaving in 6 months anyway and just wanted someone to hang out with.

Seeing each other on a casual basis worked out for the first couple of months, till we both started liking each other but were too scared to admit it, so we started pushing each other away and fighting constantly, even though we werent even in an official relationship. We took a month break but stayed in touch and when we reunited it was nothing short of explosive. It was clear to both of us that there was something there so we stopped fighting it and decided to enjoy whatever time we had left before my departure.

For the last 3 months before I left we were inseparable and it was definitely the happiest months i ever spent with someone. We got on in every way: physically, intellectually, same sense of humour, everything. I was always at his house, met his brothers (he lives with them), he met some of my friends, we were basically a couple without the title. We never spoke much about the fact that I was leaving, but we did agree we wouldn't try a long distance relationship, that it would be too much pressure and too painful to do.

3 nights before my departure date, I got quite drunk at my farewell and ended up telling him (in tears) that I was in love with him. He said he was too, but that it didnt change the fact that i was leaving. I assumed he only said it because i said first, and kinda left it. He spent the weekend with me and helped me packed and was loving and caring the whole time. On my leaving day, we said our goodbyes in the morning (i was leaving in the evening), quick and drama-less, like we had agreed. However he texted in the afternoon saying he wanted to see me one last time. i was out so i came back to find him sitting on my doorstep IN TEARS. He came back just to tell me that he loved me too. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life to date.

I took off to Europe and for the whole 11 weeks that I was there, we texted pretty much every day and spoke on the phone a few times too. Even though we had previously agreed not to try a long distance relationship, we ended up somehow getting into one (although we did agree that we were both free to do whatever we wanted, including hook up with other people and no need to tell each other unless it was about to turn into something more meaningful/serious). The messages were always very sweet, we used pet names and everything, full of "i miss you's", reminiscing moments etc.

After Europe I went to South America for 2 and a half months to see my family. A few weeks after I got there, he started to change and become a bit more distant (he had already hinted he was struggling with the distance even towards the end of my stay in Europe, but he'd still message every day). He started going for 2, 3 days without contacting me, which never happened before. I had a few talks with him but always walked on eggshells, since I couldnt really make any demands as we werent in an official relationship. I was going to come to Canada to live for half a year after South America, and we had spoken about him coming to either visit me or live here with me for a few months, but his mum was sick and doing chemo till February, so he had to wait to be able to make a decision. I understood this completely so never pressured him about it. He also hates anything technology related and only got a smartphone so we could chat on whatsapp, but he hated skype, so we only skyped a couple of times. I missed him so much and really wanted to see his face/hear his voice, but i tried being ok with only texting on whatsapp so as to not put more pressure on the whole thing or make demands. Basically I knew he had commitment issues and was struggling to deal with the fact that he had finally fallen for someone and she had left the country and all of these things, so I tried to make it as easy for him as possible.

Around December I could really feel him drifting away so I started confronting him about it. We'd fight over messages and he'd say things like he was confused, he loved me but also loved his freedom, that some days he was excited about the possibility of meeting me in Canada and other days he felt unsure etc etc. Every time we had one of these fights, I'd say we should take a break from each other and not speak for a while and he'd get really upset, he couldnt stand the thought of not talking to me, I'd sometimes go to sleep and wake up to these really long messages about how hard it was for him, how much he missed me, a list of all the things he loved and missed about me, that he knew he was losing me and that scared the hell outta him, etc etc. However he could never step up to the plate and say he wanted to meet me in Canada, or even that he couldnt but that he was willing to wait for me. After all, whats a few months of waiting when you really love someone?! Apparently too hard for him.

For the whole of December and January we went on like this: "breaking up" then making up, having long dramatic conversations over text, trying to let each other go but unable to. In January I found out from a friend he had kissed a girl on NYE, and although we had the agreement of being free to do whatever, it got to me and although he said it was "just a rush of blood to the head", it led to a huge fight and we didnt speak for days. When we spoke again, we came to a mutual agreement of staying in touch but just as friends, no more promises, or plans, or expectations, and just see what happened down the track.

Late January I finally came to Canada (it has been nearly a month now) and thats when things really went downhill. I felt we were growing further and further apart, with longer gaps between each message (2, 3, even 4 days sometimes). Even though we were technically "just friends", to me nothing had changed so I was really struggling to cope with this change.Two weeks ago I went to Seattle and we had no contact for 4 days. When I got back, I texted him and asked straight out if he still had feelings for me. His answer was that he has "become somewhat indifferent in the sense of feelings I'm probably talking about, but that doesnt mean i dont pop into his head from time to time, deeply reminescent". I was massively hurt by the word indifferent and thanked him for being honest and said that was going to help me in a lot of decisions from now on. He then said "it seems the difference between me and you is that you either love or hate. that doesnt mean i dont love you, what im indifferent about is this whole process and the brain damage it entails". I replied that it seems he loves me as a friend and that is not enough for me right now, that i have tried to move on but still cant get him out of my head, and that i really had to move on now, for my own good. His reply was "you're killing me...".

We didnt speak for 2 days but then he called me for my birthday. We had a chat for a few minutes and I talked about the new job i was going to start the following week and my travel plans before i get back to Aus later this year. I then asked him if he had any travel plans for the year and he simply said "maybe go somewhere later in the year, putting a bit of money aside every month, not too sure about anything yet". I was upset straight away - he acts like all the conversations about him coming to Canada never happened. His mum is now done with chemo and is much better so he could easily come for a month at least just for a visit, he gets paid well and could easily afford a ticket and get a month off. I said I was getting on the train and had to go, we said goodbye and hung up.

This was 11 days ago and we have had absolutely no contact at all since. The longest we had ever gone before was 4 days, so I guess it's really over. From the minute we hung up I had decided to go NC so the fact that he hasnt contacted me has helped but at the same time i just cant believe it. I started a new job last week and he didnt even message to ask how my first day/week was, he never would have done this in the past. 2 months ago he was professing his undying love for me and now it's all gone. Maybe he is seeing someone, I dont know. I'm glad I have a new job which is keeping me busy but at the same time im finding it so hard to give my 100% because of the huge whole in my chest every single day.

The worst thing is...i have come to accept it is over for now, but not for down the track. i keep visualizing me coming back to Australia in 6 months or so and him contacting me and wanting to meet up and trying to get back together. I know it's unhealthy but i cant stop it. With every other ex i knew deep down they werent right for me even when i was hurting from a break up, but with him i just dont feel that way. He was amazing to me as a man, we were great together. I cant even get properly mad at him to help the moving on process because even when he was confused he was always so open and honest and shared all his thoughts and doubts with me, never acted like a jerk. I truly believe that he started freaking out about commitment because he couldnt see me or feel me there with him, but that if i was there, things would have been different.

I believe after our last conversation he realized us being friends was too painful for me and that i wanted more, and that he cant/doesnt want to give me what i need right now, he cant do this long distance, so he decided to let me go.

Should I continue NC? i dont want him to think i dont want to speak to him but i guess he knows how i feel and why im keeping a distance, so if he thought he could give me what i need, he would message.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment, I'll be massive grateful for any input/thoughts on this.

ps: wasnt sure whether to post it here or on the LDR thread so i posted it on both.
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Last edited by breakmyfall; 26th February 2013 at 4:02 AM..
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Old 26th February 2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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Maintain no contact until the point where your posts don't look like short stories.

Really, though. You were in a psuedo-LDR without any of the tools or methods the LDR forum suggests to maintain emotional connection during the relationship.

If you're ever in a similar situation again, make it a point to base only important contact on text messaging, otherwise use the phone or video chat. With all of the traveling you're doing, is a relationship really in your best interest - or the best interest of the person you might be seeing?
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Old 26th February 2013, 11:58 PM   #3
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I disagree with Creighton. I think people should try their best for love when there's a chance for love. And it's clear you two have loved each other, and it's all just gotten so ugly and complicated and exhausting with this long-distance sh*t.

So you're going to be back where he lives in six months?

If I were you, I'd break the no contact with some declaration like: "This is so stupid. I love you, I want to be with you. I think you should book your tickets to Canada sometime to visit me next month [or whenever] so we can actually spend time together. I'll be back in Australia only a few months later. This sucks but we can do this."

I'd personally recommend not doing so through text or email, but a phone call, so he can hear your voice and your sincerity.

Now, of course, brace yourself for the possibilities that he a) won't even pick up the phone, b) won't be able to give you the response you're hoping for, or c) worst case -- is dating someone else, in which case hopefully he can be honest with you about that.

It just sounds like you two have had so much botched communication and drama that there needs to be a clear reminder of the end goal. And if he doesn't share this end goal with you, then he needs to tell you that.

But hey, this is one person's opinion and I'm no expert in love, so please take other advice too.
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Old 28th February 2013, 4:00 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.

@creighton0123 - Yeah I agree that communicating all this time mostly via text wasn't ideal, I would have loved to have done more skype, phone calls and the lot, but he a) hates technology (i had to literally teach him how to use facebook, whatsapp etc) b)never wanted us to commit to a full on long distance relationship. He said it was crazy to put that sort of pressure on each other and constantly worry about what the other is getting caught up to across the world

I have done a lot of travelling over the last 6 months, but once I move back to Australia (which will happen in around 6 months or so) I plan on staying there for a long while and only going overseas for short holidays. I had wanted to go travelling/backpacking then living overseas for a few months for quite some time and I made that decision before I even met him, so i didnt think it was fair to give up on my dreams for a guy i had only been seeing for a short while, as strong as my feelings for him were. However, i fell for him hard and whereas i would have still gone ahead with the trip regardless, i would have been happy to commit to an LDR for the year i'd be away, i dont think a year is that bad if it means you get to reunite and be with someone you really love and want to be with.

@Standard-Fare - although your point of view on my situation has given me a bit of hope, i dont think i can bring myself to break NC at this stage. In our last conversation (via text, before he called me for my birthday) I stated clearly that i still had strong feelings for him and couldnt get over him or move on no matter how hard i tried, and that being just friends wasnt enough for me at this stage, it only hurts me more. He still called me for my birthday after that but that was the last time he contacted me, so it's pretty obvious that he decided he isnt willing to try anymore. He knows how i feel, i'm not worried that i might lose him for lack of telling him that i love him/want to be with him, he knows that. The only thing i could possibly regret is the fact that i chose not to keep in contact, which is what he wanted. He wanted us to stay in touch, as friends, and see what happens when i get back. But i felt i couldnt handle it, texting with him all the time, wanting to hear certain words from him that were no longer being said, having to pretend i was cool with just being friends when in fact it was killing me inside. I knew if one day he came and told me he met someone, it would destroy me, so i had to walk away.
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Old 1st March 2013, 1:55 AM   #5
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I don't know the whole story, I don't know his perspective, I only know what you've written here.

But I'll pinpoint one interaction you highlighted. You said you were really hurt by the word "indifferent" that he used. I understand that, but he also explained that he's indifferent to "the whole process." It sounds like he's just emotionally done with all this long-distance drama. And to be fair, it does sound just so mentally and emotionally exhausting.

But then you told him you couldn't be in touch with him and he said "You're killing me." Sounds like he doesn't want it.

I don't know, I think if anything good is going to happen here you all need to be in each other's physically vicinity STAT. Your relationship become this abstract mental thing full of angst and strain, and you haven't been able to just chill and enjoy each other's company. That needs to happen, whether he visits you in Canada or you go back there for a trip -- is that possible?

If I were you I might bring up the idea more forcefully, but again... I don't really know the exact dynamics and you seem to be thinking it's a done deal.

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Old 2nd March 2013, 9:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
I don't know the whole story, I don't know his perspective, I only know what you've written here.

But I'll pinpoint one interaction you highlighted. You said you were really hurt by the word "indifferent" that he used. I understand that, but he also explained that he's indifferent to "the whole process." It sounds like he's just emotionally done with all this long-distance drama. And to be fair, it does sound just so mentally and emotionally exhausting.

But then you told him you couldn't be in touch with him and he said "You're killing me." Sounds like he doesn't want it.

I don't know, I think if anything good is going to happen here you all need to be in each other's physically vicinity STAT. Your relationship become this abstract mental thing full of angst and strain, and you haven't been able to just chill and enjoy each other's company. That needs to happen, whether he visits you in Canada or you go back there for a trip -- is that possible?

If I were you I might bring up the idea more forcefully, but again... I don't really know the exact dynamics and you seem to be thinking it's a done deal
Thank you for this I do know that the whole thing did start to get exhausting and emotionally draining, even for me. But it only got that way because he kept going back and forth about what he wanted, he couldnt let me go but at the same time he didnt believe in making a commitment when the other person is miles away. i agree with what you said about the mental thing full of angst and strain. He said to me in December that when we were together he felt so free and liberated, and now that we're apart he feels all this pressure and stress.

I can't go there at the moment, i just got a job and need to stay here for at least another 6 months to save some money to be able to go back. He could easily take a month off and come spend some time here, he hasnt had a holiday in ages and he gets paid well, i guess he's just lazy and doesnt want to make the effort.

he always said he never wanted us to break contact, i guess he wanted to keep doors open for a future possibility when i get back but it was too painful for me. I kept thinking one day he was going to tell me he met someone else and that was going to destroy me.

i just don't understand how this isnt killing him too, every single time we have tried to do this in the past, we'd go for 2, 3 days without contact and he'd freak out even more than me, now it's been 16 days and not a word from him. Maybe he's already with someone else
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Old 2nd March 2013, 11:49 PM   #7
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I don't think you'll heal if you never shake the feeling that "he was the one for you"

BS! He was one of the ones for you. I don't believe that there is only ONE person on this earth that we can connect with on that level. If this person existed, they should feel the same way about us right? Why are they the one for us but we aren't the one for them? because we aren't, and neither are they!
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Old 3rd March 2013, 12:50 AM   #8
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I am sorry you are going through this. I have been through something similar and have decided LDRs just aren't for me. So I just go to events locally now and if I run into someone then I do. If not, I just have fun and enjoy myself (sometimes too much).

I'm in my 30s so an LDR is almost out of the question. People are usually settled where they live at this age, have kids, or major careers in the area they live. It is extremely hard to just up and move for either person and it causes a lot of stress, especially if there is a true bond being formed. I can't even get a regular local relationship to work most of the time, so the probability of an LDR working is much less for me.

I'm a guy so I require physical contact at some point in a relationship or I just don't see the point of it. Just me though, I know other people can and do have successful LDR relationships.

The romantic side of me likes to think that if I *met* an amazing women I'd quit my job and just go to her, but I don't know if that will happen. Hasn't happened yet and the probability is low. I'd also have to really feel she was into me and that is very difficult to assess sometimes... people change their minds a lot. Guess you could say I still have my walls up too.

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Old 4th March 2013, 1:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by breakmyfall View Post
Thank you for this I do know that the whole thing did start to get exhausting and emotionally draining, even for me. But it only got that way because he kept going back and forth about what he wanted, he couldnt let me go but at the same time he didnt believe in making a commitment when the other person is miles away. i agree with what you said about the mental thing full of angst and strain. He said to me in December that when we were together he felt so free and liberated, and now that we're apart he feels all this pressure and stress.

I can't go there at the moment, i just got a job and need to stay here for at least another 6 months to save some money to be able to go back. He could easily take a month off and come spend some time here, he hasnt had a holiday in ages and he gets paid well, i guess he's just lazy and doesnt want to make the effort.

he always said he never wanted us to break contact, i guess he wanted to keep doors open for a future possibility when i get back but it was too painful for me. I kept thinking one day he was going to tell me he met someone else and that was going to destroy me.

i just don't understand how this isnt killing him too, every single time we have tried to do this in the past, we'd go for 2, 3 days without contact and he'd freak out even more than me, now it's been 16 days and not a word from him. Maybe he's already with someone else
Again, you have a better read on your ex's perspective than anyone here, and it sounds like you're confident that no contact is the way to go right now. Chances are your instincts are correct here.

As an outsider, I'm just questioning if you're too quick to jump to the assumption that he's not ALSO in a world of pain and not knowing how to deal with it. What if he is?

If there's any chance this is a case of botched communication and crossed signals, it might be worth trying to clear things up in some way. Maybe an email with the general message of -- "I thought it seemed like the best thing for us was to be out of contact, but you need to know that doesn't mean you're not in my heart. I'm also still completely open to the possibility of you visiting here if that's something you want to explore -- you'd just have to say the word. If not, I hope we can be in touch again when things are easier."

Not those exact words, obviously, but something with this message.

But, again -- PLEASE evaluate this suggestion based on your own instincts and maybe also the advice of other people in your life more in tune with this situation. If your ex is clearly moving on and wouldn't want to hear from you, something like this could possibly push him away further.
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